There are very few places in the world as enchanting as Ladakh. Its mountainous landscapes, shiny blue lakes and scenic road journeys have been luring travellers from around the world. Alluring beauty aside, there are plenty of attractions from beautiful monasteries and elegant palaces to quaint villages and high mountain passes.
Shanti Stupa in Leh is one of the magnificent Tibetan structures that has ever been built. The architecture and the beauty of this place are unexplainable. Shanti Stupa is a white-dome structure dedicated to Buddhism. This brilliant edifice stands atop a steep hilltop at a dizzying height of 11,841 feet above sea level. This dominating altitude of the Stupa allows it to offer picturesque views of its beautiful surroundings and hence, draws the attention of thousands of tourists every year. Facing towards the Leh Palace, the stupa overlooks the entire vibrant and colourful city of Leh and offers panoramic views of the Changspa village too. The beauty of Shanti Stupa takes a level up at night, especially during the full moon night when it is naturally illuminated by the moonlight.
Leh Old Town
Set in the beautiful Leh, Old Town is a place which is home to old mud-brick houses and stupas. Underneath these houses and stupas are winding alleys and stairways which form the star attraction of this place. Apart from the 200 mud houses, the old town also has some Buddhist temples and mosques. By visiting any of the places in the old town, one can have a look at the Tibetan and Asian architecture which forms an influence. Old town is locally known as ‘Skyanos Gogsum’. Stalam, Kharyok, Lobding, and Maney Khang are some major areas of the Old town. The place has some important historical buildings such as Jama Masjid, Leh Palace, Namgyal Tsemo Monastery and also the first cinema hall of Leh. The place is well-known as an integral historic Tibet-Himalayan urban settlement.
20 mins away walk from the Hotel, the main market of Leh is a Street market with many lanes and bylanes, all of which have small shops selling a variety of products. One can find everything here from shoes to clothes and woolen wear as well as jewelry. Also, carpets, shawls, and souvenirs are available here. The Tibetan Refugee Market is also set up here which sells locks with unique carvings, artifacts, and souvenirs. The market also sells sonorous bowls prepared by a combination of nine metals like cymbals, decorative brass and copper trumpets. One can also find a few old ladies selling jewelry and handicrafts in the Leh Main Market.
Thiksey Monastery is located in the Thiksey village of Leh district in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. Barely 20 Km's for Leh town, it is the largest gompa in the region and resembles the Patola Palace which is located in Tibet. With an elevation of around 11800 feet, it is also one of the high-altitude gompas in India. Being a 12-storey building, it is home to several stupas, paintings and halls. There is an interesting legend related to the formation of Thiksey Monastery. It is said that Palden Zangpo and Sherab Zangpo, disciples of a Buddhist guru, were performing rituals at a small village-monastery in the northern side of Indus Valley. When they were about to throw the torma offerings in the valley, a crow came out of nowhere and carried the torma with it. Upon searching, the disciples found those torma offerings on a rock, where, later on, they built Thiksey Monastery.
Pangong Lake also known as Pangong Tso is a beautiful endorheic lake situated in the Himalayas and is 134 km long, extending from India to China. Pangong Lake is situated at a height of 4350 m and is one of the biggest tourist attractions of the country. The beauty and allure of this lake has attracted people from all over the country and beyond. The lake is said to be in the process of being identified as a wetland with international significance under the Ramsar Convention and if everything goes as expected then the Pangong Lake will be the first in South Asia to be a trans-boundary wetland and that too under this convention.